In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 03– 09 March 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. 6 Palestinian civilians, including a child and 2 women, were killed in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem. 8 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.Israeli forces conducted 85 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 12 ones in occupied Jerusalem. 80 Palestinian civilians, including 25 children and 2 women, were abducted. Thirty of them, including 16 children and a woman were abducted in occupied Jerusalem. Among the abducted were a photojournalist and a doctor.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces have continued to commit crimes, inflicting civilian casualties. They have also continued to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the majority of whom were youngsters. During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 6 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Jerusalem, including 2 women and a child. Moreover, they wounded 8 civilians, including 2 children, 3 of whom, including a child, were in the West Bank while the 5 others were in the Gaza Strip. Concerning the nature of the injuries, 7 civilians were hit with live bullets and a civilian was hit with a tear gas canister to the head
In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed 6 Palestinian civilians and wounded 3 others, including a child. All of them were hit with live bullets.
On 04 March 2016, in employment of lethal force, Israeli forces killed Amani Sebateen (34), from Hosan village, west of Bethlehem. They claimed that she ran over an Israeli soldier at “Gosh Etzion” settlement, south of the city, and caused him minor wounds. It should be noted that Amani is a mother of 4 children.
In a similar crime, on 08 March 2016, Israeli Border Guard officers opened fire at Fadwa Abu Tair (50) from point blank range, claiming that she attempted to stab an Israeli soldier near the Iron Gate, one of the al-Aqsa Mosque gates in the Old City of East Jerusalem. As a result, she sustained 3 bullet wounds and was left bleeding to death for over half an hour.
In another crime committed on the same day, Israeli forces opened fire at Fo’ad Abu Rajab “al-Tamimi” (21) while he was on Saladin Street in occupied Jerusalem, as he opened fire at Israeli soldiers near the office of Jerusalem Electricity Company in the Old City. As a result, 2 Israeli police officers were wounded and the Palestinian young man was killed by several bullets, one of which, penetrated the head.
On 09 March 2016, Israeli forces opened fire at Abdul Malek Saleh Abu Kharoub (19) and Mohammed Jamal al-Kalouti (21), both from Jerusalem, near the New Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque gates in the Old City, following an armed clash after 2-hour chasing. As a result, one of the 2 Palestinians was shot dead while the other died upon arrival to Hadassa – Har HaTsofim Hospital in West Jerusalem.
Also on the same day, Israeli forces erecting a checkpoint under al-Zawiyah village’s bridge, west of Nablus, fired 20 bullets at Ahmed Yusef Isma’il Amer (17), from Mas’ha village, west of Salfit, after he stepped out of a vehicle and headed towards the Israeli soldiers. As a result, he was shot dead.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child. Two of them, including the child, were wounded during their participation in protests organized adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip. In addition, the 2 others were wounded during protests organized near the border fence, east of al-Shuja’iya neighbourhood, east of Gaza City. Three of them were hit with live bullets and the fourth was hit by a sound bomb to the head.
In the context of targeting border areas along the Gaza Strip, on 07 March 2016, Israeli forces stationed at the said fence, east of al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at a Palestinian civilian (29) while he was only 10 meters away from the fence. As a result, he sustained a bullet wound to the right leg (the bullet entered and exited), after which, he was transported to al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Hospital in Deir al-Balah to receive the necessary medical treatment.
At approximately 11:00 on Tuesday, 08 March 2016, Israeli Border Guard officers opened fire at a Palestinian woman from a point blank range claiming that she attempted to stab an Israeli soldier near the Iron Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque Gates in East Jerusalem’s Old City. As a result, she was hit with 3 bullets and left bleeding for more than half an hour on the ground until she drew her last breath.
According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ accounts to the fieldworker in the city, Fadwa Ahmed Mohammed Abu Teir (50) was walking between the Cotton Merchants and the Iron Gates when the Israeli soldiers shouted at her to stop. However, she did not respond and continued to walk. They then ran towards Fadwa and opened fire at her. As a result, she was hit with 3 bullets; one of which penetrated her right eye and the two others penetrated her chest and abdomen. More than one eyewitness confirmed that they saw no knife or sharp tool in her hands. They added that the Israeli soldiers deliberately left Fadwa on the ground bleeding for more than half an hour and prevented Palestinians from approaching her or providing her the necessary first aid.
Dr. Amin Abu Ghazaleh from the Red Crescent clinic in the Old City of Jerusalem said that the Israeli soldiers prevented the Red Crescent crews for around 10 minutes from reaching Fadwa until the Israeli officers arrived and the medical crews were then allowed to check her. He added that the ten minutes have been enough to save Fawda’s life.
It should be mentioned that the killed woman lived in Um Touba neighbourhood, south of East Jerusalem, and was married with 5 children.
Luba al-Somari, Spokesperson of the Israeli police, said in a statement, “An Arab Jerusalemite woman from Um Touba neighbourhood stepped towards Israeli Border Guard officers, who were as usual in the area as part of the field readiness to maintain public safety. She pulled out a knife attempting to stab the border officers who opened fire after perceiving a “tangible threat”. They immediately neutralized the woman, but no Israeli injuries were reported.”
At approximately 17:10 on Tuesday, 08 March 2016, Israeli forces opened fire at a Palestinian armed young man, who opened fire at them near the Jerusalem District Electricity Company in Salah al-Deen Street in East Jerusalem’s Old City. As a result, two Israeli officers were wounded while the Palestinian young man was hit with several bullets; one of which penetrated his head. Therefore, he immediately died on the scene.
According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ testimonies to the fieldworker in Jerusalem, when Fo’ad Qathaf ‘Abdullah Abu Rajab “al-Tamimi” (21) was in the parking of the electricity company in Salah al-Deen Street in Jerusalem, he opened fire from a riffle at the Israeli soldiers, who in response opened fire at him. The armed clash continued for around 10 minutes. As a result, Fo’ad was killed and two police officers were wounded; one of whom sustained a serious wound.
It should be mentioned that the Israeli forces accompanied with Intelligence officers raided the Electricity Company and searched the guard’s room. They pushed who were there and confiscated the surveillance cameras. They also opened fire at the Company’s vehicles, damaging their windows and the vehicles’ body. The Israeli forces also completely closed Salah al-Deen Street and raided and searched “al-Dar Mall” building. They dispersed those who were near the vicinity of the scene and denied them access.
Around an hour later, large force of Israeli soldiers moved into al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of Jerusalem, and surrounded a house belonging to Fo’ad’s family. Amist Israeli firing of rubber bullets and tear gas canisters to prevent anyone from approaching the house, the Israeli forces raided and searched the house. They also took photos of it from the inside and outside in addition to its measures. They also asked Fo’ad’s mother questions while they summoned his father and uncle for interrogation.
At approximately 08:40 on Wednesday, 09 March 2016, Israeli police officers opened fire at two Palestinian young men near the New Gate, one of the newest gates in the walls that surround Jerusalem’s Old City, following an armed clash between both of them. After chasing them for around 2 hours, one of the two young men was killed on the scene and the other was later announced dead when he arrived at “Hadassa – Har HaTsofim Hospital” in West Jerusalem.
According to Israeli forces, at approximately 07:10 on the aforementioned day, ‘Abdel Malek Saleh Abu Kharoub (19) and Mohammed Jamal al-Kaloti (21), both from Jerusalem, opened fire at an Israeli “Egged Cooperative” bus at the Ramot Junction, west of West Jerusalem, and drove a blue car away. The Israeli forces chased them and opened heavy fire at the car. They established checkpoints on the way to “Hatsnim” Street near the New Gate in Jerusalem, where the armed clash erupted. As a result, Mohammed Jamal al-Kaloti immediately died while ‘Abdel Malek Abu Kharoub was transferred via an Israeli ambulance to “Hadassa – Har HaTsofim Hospital”, where he succumbed to his wounds. ‘Emad Abu ‘Ali (56) sustained serious wounds in his head when he was walking in the New Gate area where the armed clash happened. He was taken to Hadassa al-‘Issawiya to receive medical treatment.
House demolitions, demolition notices and attempts to seize civilian houses:
On Friday 04 March 2016, joint staffs from the Israeli municipality and forces moved into a number of neighborhoods in Silwan village, south of East Jerusalem’s Old City. They distributed administrative demolition orders to commercial and residential facilities under the pretext of building without a permit.
An eyewitness said to a PCHR fieldworker that Israeli municipality staffs moved into the neighborhoods of Al-Bustan, Beer Ayoub and Ein Al-Lozeh in Silwan and took pictures of several commercial and residential facilities as well as the neighborhoods’ streets. During the raid, they handed four civilians from Al-Bustan and Ein Al-Lozeh administrative demolition notices under the pretext of building without a permit.
An eyewitness said that municipality crews handed the notices to a commercial store in Ein Al-Lozeh; a house in Al-Bustan neighborhood and two houses in Ein Al-Lozeh. All the aforementioned facilities were built many years ago. Farhat Qaimari, one of the four affected civilians, said that the municipality staffs accompanied with Israeli forces raided his house in the neighborhood of Al-Bustan and handed him an administrative demolition notice under the pretext of building without a permit. He added that he has been living in the house for 10 years with his wife and four children.
Israeli Settlement activities:
Israel has continued its settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, a direct violation of international humanitarian law, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
At approximately 14:30 on Thursday, 04 March 2016, Israeli bulldozers levelled dozens dunums of agricultural lands in al-Zayaq area, east of Deir Balut village, west of Salfit. The levelled lands belong to Taysir Rushdi ‘Abdullah and his brothers to be annexed to “Leshem” settlement established in the eastern side of the village although a decision was issued by the Israeli Supreme Court to stop construction works and not to level this area. They also levelled large part of Deir Sam’an Archaeological Site in Kafr al-Deek village to annex it to the same settlement.
At approximately 04:00 on Monday, 07 March 2016, Israeli forces accompanied with a vehicle belonging to the Construction and Organization Department in the Israeli Administration and a bulldozer moved into al-Jomjomah area, northeast of Halhoul, north of Hebron. The military bulldozers levelled a 200-square-meter barrack used for grazing sheep belonging to ‘Abdel Karim Mahmoud ‘Abdel Rahman Mer’eb (77).
The aforementioned civilian said to a PCHR fieldworker that the Israeli authorities handed a notice to Mer’eb to stop construction works on 20 February 2016, so he did all the necessary legal procedures mentioned in the notice. He hired a lawyer to submit a petition. However, the Civil Administration handed him a demolition notice on 20 February 2015. The Israeli bulldozer demolished the barrack without allowing him to evacuate the fodders. The losses were estimated to NIS 60,000.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
Israeli forces continued to target the border areas along the Gaza Strip.
A Palestinian civilian was wounded in the east of al-Maghazi refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip. 4 Palestinian civilians were wounded during peaceful protests organized near the border fence.
The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 1.8 million people. The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy. They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 38.8%, 21.1% of which suffer from extreme poverty. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 44%, which reflects the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Israeli forces used excessive force against peaceful demonstrations protesting settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall
Following the Friday prayer, on 04 March 2016, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered at the southern entrance to al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, near an UNRWA school for boys to organize a peaceful demonstration in protest against the Israeli attacks in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The protesters threw stones at the soldiers stationed along the border fence of “Beit Eil” settlement. Israeli forces fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters in response. As a result, a 23-year-old male was hit with a live bullet to the right knee and was then taken to Palestine Medical Complex to receive medical treatment.
Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians organized demonstrations in protest at the Israeli polices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, at the western entrance to Selwad village, northeast of Ramallah, al-Taweel Mount, near “Psagot” settlement, east of al-Bireh, and at the southern entrance to al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. Israeli soldiers used force to disperse the protesters by firing live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, many civilians suffered tear gas canisters and sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.
At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 04 March 2016, dozens of Palestinian young men headed to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Shuja’iya neighborhood, east of the Gaza Strip, and threw stones at the soldiers stationed in the area. Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers opened fire at them in response. As a result, 2 civilians were wounded with live bullets.
At approximately 14:30 on Friday, Israeli forces stationed at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, northwest of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at dozens of young men, who were on the road between the Palestinian and Israeli sides of the crossing. The protesters threw stones at the soldiers in protest at the Israeli attacks against the Palestinian civilians in Jerusalem and the West Bank. As a result of the clashes which continued until 18:00, two civilians, including a child, were wounded.
Both of the abovementioned civilians were taken by a PRCS ambulance to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia refugee camp, where Salah’s injuries were classified as moderate, while Ghareeb’s injuries were classified as serious, which led to take him to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.
At approximately 12:00 on Friday, 04 March 2016, Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized a protest in the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliya, and then made their way to the eastern entrance of the village in protest against closing that entrance since the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada with an iron gate. When the protesters approached the entrance, Israeli forces fired live bullets at them. As a result, 2 civilians, including a child, were wounded. The child, who was identified as Khalid Murad Ishtawi (9), was hit with a live bullet to the right thigh, while another civilian in his thirties was hit with a live bullet to the left thigh.
Also following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized protests in Bil’in and Nil’in villages, west of Ramallah; and al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah. Israeli forces used force to disperse the protesters by firing live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, many civilians suffered teas gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the international community act in order to stop all Israeli settlement expansion activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories through imposing sanctions on Israeli settlements and criminalizing trading with them.
In addition, PCHR calls upon the UN General Assembly to transfer the Goldstone Report to the UN Security Council in order to refer it to the International Criminal Court in accordance with Article 13(b) of the Rome Statute
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: